The rookie QB with the best future? It’s a Baker


Baker Mayfield photo courtesy of the Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey had his choice of quarterbacks at the top of the 2018 NFL draft.

Listeners and readers of the Talk of Fame Network believe he made the right choice in Oklahoma Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield.

In last week’s poll, we asked our followers which rookie quarterback would go on to have the best NFL career and Mayfield won with 42.4 percent of the vote. Sam Darnold of the New York Jets was next at 27.1 percent, followed by Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills at 15.3 percent. Darnold was the third overall pick of the draft and Allen the seventh.

Darnold and Allen have both started in the NFL and won games, and both Mayfield and Arizona’s Josh Rosen will make their first starts this weekend. Darnold beat the Detroit Lions in the season opener, passing for 198 yards and two touchdowns. Allen went on the road and beat the Minnesota Vikings with the NFL’s best defense last weekend, passing for a touchdown and rushing for two more.

Mayfield came on in relief last weekend to pass for 201 yards and rally the Browns to their first victory in two seasons over the Jets. He’ll make his starting debut this weekend against the Raiders. Rosen, the 10th overall pick of the draft, will make his starting debut against the Seahawks.

As usual, the three Talk of Fame Network hosts were split in their votes with Clark Judge weighing in for Darnold and both Ron Borges and Rick Gosselin for Allen.

“I thought Darnold was the best quarterback in this draft, mostly because I was dazzled with what he could … and did … do in 2016,” said Judge of his starting tenure at Southern Cal. “If he could do it once, he can do it again … especially with the proper coaching. I know the Curse of Broadway Joe is against him, but I like his chances to become the next Sam Goody.”

All six quarterbacks received votes in the poll with Rosen, Lamar Jackson of the Ravens and Mason Rudolph of the Steelers rounding out the slate.

“Normally I’d lean toward the guy who went to the best team, which would be Mason Rudolph in Pittsburgh, because they tend to be under the least pressure and are most likely to be protected,” Borges said. “But in this case I’m not convinced he has the same talent as the others. Mayfield is the hot choice of the moment but I don’t like his lack of size (6-0). Which leaves me with Josh Allen.

“I know he’s in Buffalo and that’s been a death sentence since Jim Kelly retired but I like his arm, his legs and his desire to prove he’s as good as guys from bigger schools.”

Allen played at Wyoming, Rosen at UCLA, Rudolph at Oklahoma State and Jackson won a Heisman Trophy himself at Louisville in 2016.

“Allen best fit the NFL prototype for the position at 6-5, 237 (pounds),” Gosselin said. “Add in the best arm in this draft and all the Bills have to do is tap the talent now before them.”

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